CEBU

Bzzzzz: CDC pushes double masks. Guv Gwen says mask can hide an ugly face. Mabatid not yet dropping threat to unmask 'witch.' Lemar Alcover shows true color, fired.

Photos from AP and Lemar Memat Arnoco Alcover's Facebook account

Early disclosure, firing

ON OR about the same day (Wednesday, February 10), when Lemar Arnoco Alcover posted on Facebook his choice for next Cebu City mayor, BOPK Councilor Franklyn Ong, Mayor Edgardo Labella fired him. The mayor decided to issue the termination order obviously upon seeing the post.

"Kap" Lemar, son of former party-list congressman and City Councilor Pastor "Jun" Alcover, was ordered dismissed from service upon receipt of the order.

In a press-con the next day, Mayor Labella said Lemar's position was confidential, it being based on the "trust and confidence of the appointing authority," namely, the mayor.

The mayor said he was glad that Lemar announced his choice of candidate for the next mayor and did not hide his "true color."

Tremors within Partido Barug because of the firing were still being assessed.

Good news about masks

One, the US Center for Disease Controls Wednesday, February 10, released new evidence that face-wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask offers more protection against coronavirus.

Two, last Friday, February 5, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, in a parenthetical remark during a press-con on variants of Covid-19 and health protocols, said a mask gives the added benefit of hiding an ugly face.

Just as the virus mutates to survive, so must people adapt ways to beat the plague.

Double-masking is one way, along with tying knots on ear loops of surgical masks. Things have not yet come to wearing head cover with oxygen tank.

The governor was apparently joking about the mask as hiding the un-pretty face. True but the mask mandate covers the lovely face as well. The face mask is a sense an equalizer but only temporarily. Eventually, some time somewhere, one takes it off to bare one's face.

By SP fiat, not mayor's EO

As he earlier indicated, Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama accepted the work of overseeing the rollout of anti-Covid vaccines. The news headline looked like a rejection, "No, thanks." But what he must have refused was the title of "vaccine czar," not the job itself.

Rama reported to the City Council Wednesday, February 10, and he already started the work with his co-convenors from the Sanggunian and the mayor's office. He had talked with people whose help City Hall would tap for the inoculation project. Similar preparations are reportedly being made too by national agencies such as Department of Health and Department of the Interior and Local Government, as well as the city's Vaccines Board.

The vice mayor be doing so by legislative fiat, the February 5 City Council resolution creating the group of "convenors" composed of council members and key officials from the executive department. An executive order of Mayor Edgardo Labella, designating Rama and specifying his job description, was still to be released.

'Starting anew'

Some City Hall watchers must suspect that the grant of the vaccines rollout task given to VM Rama may have induced him to keep quiet, at least for now, about issues rocking the Labella-Rama administration.

How about the case of Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid? Councilor Niña fired her shot last week about the city being a "big mess" largely because of an unidentified "ungo" or witch. That was on the same weekend VM Rama ranted about the mayor's health, state of the campaign against pandemic, and still-un-liquidated P3.5 billion Covid response fund.

She told Bzzzzz Friday "they tried (to settle it with me) but I told them until di na mo-undang og power-tripping, ako gyud na cya i-bulgar at the right forum."

Mabatid did not give details of the caucus among a few party stalwarts held last Thursday, except to say they would "daw i-fix tanan, nya start anew."

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